Attacks on Identity

The Maze Festival event was amazing, there were fab stories and I have got photos…. but… whilst getting out of our van and into the venue I was verbally insulted as was my daughter and then whilst we were in the venue our van was smeared in human poo.

I am very upset about this and have ended up talking to the police who have registered it as a hate crime. Since hitting my head I have been suffering with seizures, I ended up having one due to the extra stress and lack of sleep the clean up involved whilst trying to keep the kids safe and away from it.

Our van is a beaten up old transit which has been adapted to be a day/camper van. I love the van and we have called it The Tardis as it is blue and it is perfect for craft shows and festivals and staying over at performances – it is just what we need.

I grew up being bullied for “being a gypsy/piky/didiki” and so I tried to ignore the kids when they started shouting abuse to the didiki. My husband it turns out didn’t even know the word, he did not know piky either.

It was a horrible thing to happen, and I was angry that I had hoped not to inflame the situation by ignoring them as they wheeled around me but instead they smeared our van and tried to trick us into getting it all in the area where we would have to sleep.

I cried because part of me thought it was my fault for wearing my hair down, for not straightening it and making it neat, or because my youngest speaks what sounds like a foreign language and weather she was in danger. Once they realised my husband was a man they did not go near him and yes they were only kids but they were all as tall or taller than me and it wasn’t just stuff about gypsies that they were saying.

It made me feel sick but… it is part of what the visual poem A Stranger Dream is about. Here was an attack on two parts of my identity as I went to an event to tell the tale of how I’d written/drawn a book/poem on identity by getting lost and confused as to who I was.

All the anger of bullying suppression oozed to the surface and I thought about how their actions meant they were suffering within. How they fear an identity that they could be mistaken for, how people sometimes lash out to what is too close to home. And it made me realise that this world needs my book, it needs something to start undoing the damage of the bigots and the racists and the predatory pervs.

Sadly there is no way I could have identified them they were all white with brown hair of various lengths, one had some cuts but even if I saw them again I would not have been able to recognise them as the head injury has left me with face recognition problems even for people I know 🙁

As always I am turning the negative into positive by using the situation as the fuel for new works.

Posted: Sunday, August 28th, 2016 @ 12:25 am
Categories: A Stranger Dream, About Poetry, Performance.
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